Soy. The boogeyman of masculine men everywhere. Indeed, the term “soy” (and derivatives such as “soy boy”) itself has become a slang term encapsulating all that we hate about the state of modern manhood: weakness, effeminancy, soft facial features, and more.

But is that the case? We all know that soy is the only complete vegetable protein—which is to say it’s the only vegetable protein that has all of the essential amino acids—but is it really so bad for people in general and men in particular?

The short answer is: for “people” as a vague concept, no. It’ll keep you alive and functioning. But for MEN, specifically, seeking to be the best possible men they can be, the answer is a resounding yes.

What It Does, and Why It’s So Common

As I said above, soy will keep you alive—it is a complete protein, which means it will indeed give you enough protein to trudge through your daily life. That much, even I will not dispute.

As many have pointed out, soy is indeed an extremely common foodstuff and food additive, not just in its native East Asia but increasingly in the other four cardinal directions of the compass rose as well. Note that the three largest producers of soy beans, which make up a majority (80+%) of the world’s crop are all in the Western Hemisphere: the USA, Brazil, and Argentina.

And indeed, when I say it’s extremely common, I mean it with no hyperbole. In addition to just being eaten in its natural state, soybeans are processed into many foodstuffs such as the famous tofu and tempeh and vegetable oil. If that weren’t enough, textured vegetable protein, or TVP, is a soy product that is used as a filler/substitute in many meat/dairy substitutes and as an enhancer.

Why is it so common? While some conspiracy theorists would undoubtedly posit that this is all some fiendish Illuminati/Judeo-Satanist plot to emasculate men around the world, I don’t think that’s the case. Frankly, I’ve always believed in Hanlon’s Razor, the idea that you can never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity—and I would paraphrase “laziness” for stupidity.

The simple reason for the preponderance of soy in the modern diet is simply that it is cheap, and corporations are primarily—and entirely— businesses, seeking to maximize their profits and minimize their expenditures. Thus, a cheap source of protein like soy is common, nevermind the side effects. And what are those side effects that deliberately harm men?

1. Hormonal Distress

Soy products are confirmed to inherently contain phytoestrogens, which can have estrogenizing effects on the human body. Indeed, they have been linked to positive effects for women, including the reduction of risks of certain types of cancer—and this happens to be the same effect that can occur with certain types of estrogen supplementation.

Since this is the case, we can also discuss the inverse (i.e. the same estrogenizing effects that are good for women will of course be bad for men). Of course, the issue is a matter of debate, but more than one study has reported negative hormonal effects of soy in men.

Testosterone

2. Decreased Male Fertility

Related to the above, a soy-heavy diet has also been linked to fertility dysfunction in men: lowered sperm counts and decreased semen quality. If you read this website, you’ve probably picked up somewhere or other that testosterone levels in the Western world are lower than they were in previous generations, and not only that, several studies have confirmed that testosterone and sperm counts are being lowered THROUGHOUT all Western countries.

Again, it’s not likely that this is a deliberate conspiracy, so much as an unfortunate side effect of cheapness and decreased quality of life.

3. Flatulence

And now going in a completely low brow direction, eating an excess of soy products has been linked to gastrointestinal distress. And needless to say, being associated with flatulence stink won’t do much for anything that you’re attempting to do, whether it be physical fitness, seduction, or business.

While one may not believe in the phenotypic changes associated with the stereotypically weak, spindly, soy eating male, the three reasons cited above are enough for any man to avoid this food.

What To Do

Seeing as soy isn’t required in the diet, avoiding it shouldn’t be so difficult. Just read all food product labels, avoid anything with soy, and avoid eating it directly. Replace it with animal proteins instead.

Make these simple changes, and see health and masculinity improve.

Read More: 5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Testosterone